Zipp News

Back 10.7.2011

Years of preparation land ‘lucky’ lottery winner in Kona

For four years Colin Reese entered to win one of the coveted lottery spots at the Ford Ironman® World Championship in Hawaii.

He figured he’d never win. Then this year Reese saw his name on the list and ever since has been focused on competing Saturday in Kona.

“This will be my first Kona and I’m very excited about it,” said Reese, 40, an engineer who lives in Lorton, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C.

Excited and nervous. “Now I want to throw up,” he also remembered thinking amid the joy of learning he’d be racing at Kona.

We here at Zipp understand those intense feelings. In fact, we love sharing some of the stories of the athletes who ride our wheels and components as they push themselves to achieve dreams.

For Reese, the road to Kona began with goal in his mid-30s to lose weight by running. He lost 50 pounds in nine months. Then he decided to run a marathon. He started swimming. At the urging of a friend, he added cycling to his exercise routine. At 35, he did his first triathlon (Olympic distance).

Next, he bought a pair of Zipp 404 wheels for his first 70.3 Ironman. He was hooked. Four years later, Reese has done four Ironman-distance triathlons (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run). On August 26, he finished Subaru Ironman® Canada – a race he had already planned on doing before landing his Kona spot.

“Being an engineer myself, I get a little more interested in the technical side of bike-parts design,” Reese said of his interest in Zipp equipment.

For Kona, he’ll be riding Zipp 404 clinchers. He’ll also be using Zipp VukaAero bars and VukaR2C shifters.

So, how’s this lottery winner feel headed into Saturday's big race, especially the famously tough cycling leg?

“My strategy is race within my limits, watch my heart rate and my power, remember to drink and eat, adjust to what the triathlon gods throw at me, and enjoy the day to the fullest,” Reese said. “How often do you get to experience the triathlon holy land and race at Kona?”

Photo credit: Colin Reese